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James E. Schoeff

Smoker’s widow fights for multimillion-dollar jury award

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A lawyer for the widow of a Florida man “addict(ed) to cigarettes” asked the state Supreme Court Monday to reinstate her $30 million jury award for punitive damages. Tallahassee attorney John S. Mills, who represents Joan Schoeff, told the court the conduct of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.(RJR)—in selling a product they knew was killing 500,000 people a year—stopped just short of “intentional genocide.” Mills called RJR “the worst of the worst,” saying the cigarette maker was aware their customers “were going to die and continued (selling cigarettes)…

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Supreme Court agrees to hear smoke case

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The state’s highest court agreed to hear an appeal of a punitive damages award against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in the case of a man who died from smoking, according to filings. The Florida Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction last Thursday, court dockets show. At trial, a jury found smoker James E. Schoeff 25 percent at fault in his death. He had “died from lung cancer ‘caused by his addiction to cigarettes,’ ” according to court documents.  It awarded his…

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